A few months ago, I mentioned to someone that I was job searching. She suggested that I look into one of the Catholic agencies here in Chicago that help people find work. I expressed concern about it being a Catholic agency, wanting to know what, specifically, it meant that the agency was affiliated with the Catholic Church.
The woman got offended, actually saying that she was insulted that I would say such a thing. Then she went on with something about how the scandals don’t represent the entire Church, and I shouldn’t judge the Church when they’re just trying to help.
It was ridiculous. Frankly, I was insulted. My concerns about the Church had nothing to do with its scandals, and I resent the assumption that I would judge some agency based on that. Furthermore, it seemed overly defensive (the Church’s various scandals hadn’t been on my mind until she brought them up).
I think my concerns about the Church are quite justified. The Catholic Church as an institution has well-known negative stances towards queer and trans people. The official teachings are that being either is morally wrong (well, it kind of pretends that transfolk don’t exist, but it’s still against us). Naturally, I’m wary about becoming involved with organizations that may judge me for being queer and trans. Basically anyone who knows me should at least know (as this person should have) that I’m queer. (Trans, well, sometimes word travels more slowly than one would think.)
I suppose I wasn’t even most frustrated that she didn’t immediately get the Catholic Church/homophobia-transphobia connection — what I most resented was that she didn’t give me a chance to explain myself and instead made me out to be some judgmental jerk.